Monhegan Trash & Recycling

Shortly after Angela Iannicelli first moved to Monhegan in 2004, she was asked to coordinate the island’s trash and recycling program. At that point, each bag of trash had to be stuffed into a small on-island compactor. Diapers, hypodermic needles, dog poop—all came up into employees’ faces. With no town-provided hepatitis shots and no-restrictions trash… Read more »

Island Institute Fellows Program

Since 1999, the Island Institute Fellows Program has provided a unique opportunity for recent college or grad school graduates to apply their skills and experience to help build sustainability within communities whose way of life and identity face a myriad of challenges. Fellows can often be used as an organizing force for broad ideas when… Read more »


Island Leadership Exploration and Development (ILEAD) Island Leadership Exploration and Development (ILEAD) is a series of workshops designed to increase local leadership skills, increase the number of willing leaders within communities, and provide a peer network across multiple islands for information and resource sharing going forward. HOW IT WORKS ILEAD combines technical assistance and networking… Read more »

Islesboro Affordable Property

Islesboro Affordable Property (IAP) was founded in 1988 and is one of the oldest affordable housing groups on a Maine island. It is also among the few with a paid staff member—executive director Rick Rogers.   HOW IT WORKS Initially, IAP built an 8-unit project, the Ruthie James Subdivision. IAP retained ownership of the land… Read more »

Monhegan Island Sustainable Community Association

Monhegan Island Sustainable Community Association, or MISCA, is a combination of a land trust and an affordable housing organization. On Monhegan, where available land is at a premium, MISCA has largely attempted to renovate existing buildings, rather than build new ones, though it has purchased five houses and owns two buildable lots that it hopes… Read more »

Cobscook Kitchen and Marketplace

Value-added food processing facilities—or community kitchens—provide affordable access for entrepreneurs, seafood harvesters, farmers, and other small business owners to kitchen facilities that would otherwise be financially inaccessible.   In 1998, Will Hopkins started the Cobscook Bay Resource Center in Eastport, Maine with the goal of helping local resource users, scientific researchers, government agencies, educators, and… Read more »

Ocean Planning

BACKGROUND The ocean is inextricably tied to the economy, culture, and life of Maine’s coastal communities. The economy of many of these communities is now highly reliant on the lobster industry. Conflicts between the fishing industry and other ocean uses have always been a part of life, but as some existing ocean uses are expanding… Read more »

Engaging Communities in Offshore Wind

Several island and coastal communities in the U.S. have found themselves at the forefront of offshore wind debates due to their proximity to proposed offshore wind sites, as well as economic and cultural connections to adjacent ocean spaces (e.g., reliance on fishing, sense of place reinforced by aesthetic views). As such, New England island residents… Read more »

Weatherize Upper Valley

The Upper Valley region is a rural area situated in between the major population centers of Concord, New Hampshire, and Burlington, Vermont. Vital Communities, a community nonprofit based in White River Junction, Vermont, realized that the uptake of energy efficiency in the region was slowed by a set of barriers that were distinct from those in more… Read more »

Swan’s Island Health Center

Island health centers are assets to their communities for many reasons. They are a place to go for check-ups without needing to take the ferry to the mainland. In the war on ticks, they act as a primary witness to the prevalence of tickborne diseases. They help infected individuals get treatment, but they also help… Read more »